Of all places in the world that track baby names, you would not think it is the Social Security Administration. But that is what it does.
The SSA has just published a blog with the top 10 most popular names for boys and girls in 2021.
As of May 6, here are the top 3 boys' names:
The top 3 girls' names:
In fact, the SSA keeps a separate website, ssa.gov/oact/babynames/ with all kinds of data. This includes filtering by year, changes in popularity by year per name, top ranks by state, and by US territory.
Of course, the goal of the SSA is to get parents to create Social Security accounts for children as soon as possible.
But social scientists have long studied the trends in baby names. In fact, JSTOR Daily comments on the recent new list of baby names and the politics and social trends that influence them over time.
Academics at ivy league schools are focusing now on baby names. Columbia Business School has gotten into research on baby names, having conducted at least 11 research studies as of 2016. Researchers at Wharton believe that studying baby names can help marketers find the next big thing.
In fact - and why not - there are now professional baby namers. Probably the most famous is Taylor A Humphrey, founder of What's In A Baby Name. Cosmopolitan magazine wrote an article about her recently, "This is what it is like to be a professional baby namer." YouTube has lots of sites, like this one, and this one, that discuss the issues with hiring a professional baby namer.
So, there is now a whole industry now studying the new list from the Social Security Administration on the most popular new baby names.
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